Cheap Cat Carrier Nearly Kills Cat
Caveat Emptor! (Buyer Beware!)
Cat and dog toys, clothing, beds, strollers, and carriers are not regulated by the government and industry “watch dogs” like baby equipment is. You assume if you buy a car seat, a stroller, a crib, or other equipment for a baby, toddler, or child, that it is safe for your child. The consumer protection safety board, better business bureau, and everybody else keeps watch over these items. If a stroller is deemed unsafe, it gets recalled. Remember the baby carrier wraps from months ago that smothered a few kids in their parent’s arms because it was easy to use them the wrong way? Those hard-to-use items come from the market, and if they have harmed a child, the company is sued and held accountable for the faulty design or construction.
No pet products receive the scrutiny baby and child products undergo. Be very careful when you buy one of those cute, new puppy strollers. Ever look at one? Most strollers for pets look more like doll toys than children’s strollers. They wiggle and collapse like a toy stroller, too. Be very careful.
The #1 reason pets pass away in airplane cargo is a faulty carrier. Sure, brachycephalic (pronounced bray-key-se-fallic), or short-nosed breeds like French Bulldogs, Boston Terriers, and English Bulldogs have been shown to be at greater risk of passing away on an airline flight because they cannot exchange air and breathe as well as other dogs. But, far and away, the #1 reason a pet suffers an “adverse outcome” on an airplane is because the carrier failed. Either the door was not shut, a latch was missing, the carrier was too flimsy, or nuts and bolts were missing. Faulty carriers do not do the job they need to do and pets can die as a result.
Incomplete, Useless Zipper
Just today, Doc Truli narrowly avoided losing a cat brought in for an appointment in a hastily bought cat carrier.
Out-of-breathe, cat’s mom said, “She just popped right out, right there in the parking lot, I can’t believe it!”
On closer examination of the carrier, we all believed it!
The zipper to close the top of the soft-sided style carrier was not sewn in all the way to the clasp flap. The flap was flimsy, with only one attachment in the center. Of course, the workmanship was shoddy, but most importantly, this brand-new cat carrier was not designed to hold a cat. The bag resembled a cat carrier in name alone.
A Zipper Guard is a Fabulous Thing
Doc Truli also recently attempted unsuccessfully to sedate a cat for examination. This 18 pound red tabby catcat, Chomper, is the #1 most aggressive cat Doc has ever seen in an animal hospital, other than a wild bobcat, but that’s another story. Chomper growls and rattles the zippers on his designer carrier. (That carrier costs about $1,200 retail! It had gold letters “L” and “V” all over a brown background….) Chomper attacks before he even assesses the situation. Practically, the attacks meant that Doc Truli tried to open the zipper on his carrier just a bit to test if he had mellowed since the previous year’s check-up.
No siree! Chomper was in full form. He shot a claw-extended leg out through the tiny zipper opening and his head with teethed bared was shoving through the hole behind the paw. His aim was uncanny. Luckily, Doc has gotten good at cat avoidance over the years. A quick towel over the opening, and Chomper recoiled into the dark of the carrier cave.
Now, it was clear Chomper was not undergoing any procedures this fine day. He needed to be re-ensconced into a carrier with butt-access. What does a veterinarian mean by butt-access? We mean: a good mesh window with kitty butt fur sticking out through it so we feel confident the kitty flesh is available to our needle full of sedative. Yes sir. That’s how we roll. (Adam Sandler, “That’s how we roll…”)
Doc Truli could not get Chomper’s carrier re-closed. Why not? Because the $1,200 luxury carrier lacked a zipper-guard. Yes…a zipper guard. If you like your veterinarian and your cat does not like the veterinarian, buy a carrier with a one-inch strip of fabric just under the length of the zipper. Not only does the zipper guard prevent your cat’s fur from becoming caught in the zipper, the guard also prevents your cat from raking anyone who tries to grasp the zipper pull. Chomper was all over that zipper pull.
Finally, Doc Truli dribbled some overwhelmingly yummy cat treats into the opening from a 6 inch height. Chomper was too professional of a kitty-objector to be fooled by the treats. No way! But the momentary thought that crossed his mind, “Why is that vet bribing me with treats when she knows I abhor this whole process?” gave a split second opening to grasp the zipper pull and close the gap. Viola!
Chomper returned the next week in a carrier fit for administering sedatives.
The moral of the story: check the carrier you buy. Be sure it seals tight, the latches work, preferably metal, and a zipper guard lies under the top zip.